Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are investigating the shooting of a Golden Eagle northwest of Woodbine, in Harrison County. The DNR isn’t sure whether the federally protected bird was shot in western Iowa or eastern Nebraska, and are uncertain when the incident happened, but it’s believed the eagle was shot sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday. Authorities think an organized group of people are targeting the birds in an attempt to put them on the black market.
Any Harrison County resident with information regarding the eagle shooting, is encouraged to call the Turn in Poachers Hotline at 800-532-2020, or on the web, log-on to Iowadnr.gov/tip. You may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the number of farms in Iowa has fallen but the total land farmed in the state has remained stable. The Census of Agriculture, a report released every five years, says the number of Iowa farms fell 4.5 percent to 88,631 in 2012 from 92,856 in 2007. The report released Thursday updates a wide range of agricultural statistics as of 2012.
The average size of a farm grew to 345 acres from 331 acres. Land farmed in the state declined by just over 130,000 acres to 30.6 million acres. The average age of an Iowa farmer increased to 57 from 56. The value of Iowa’s agricultural products rose 50 percent to $30.81 billion from $20.41 billion in 2007.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of deer taken by hunters in Iowa last year has fallen below 100,000 for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s the eighth straight year the dear harvest has declined in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says hunters reported 99,406 deer for the 2013 season, a decline of 14 percent from 2012 and 34 percent from the high in 2006. The 2012 deer harvest was 115,606.
The harvest data will be considered when the DNR begins the process of discussing hunting seasons later this winter. Deer hunters purchased 359,956 licenses last year, nearly 18,500 fewer than in 2012.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The value of crops fell last year as corn and soybeans prices declined from record highs the year before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in an annual report the value of 2013 field crops fell 9.8 percent to nearly $167 billion from $185 billion in 2012. The 2012 drought reduced the corn and soybean harvest and drove prices to record highs which resulted in increased crop value.
Friday’s report says the average price of corn for 2012 was $6.89 per bushel and the value of the crop that year was $74.3 billion. Last year’s average price was $4.50 and the overall value fell to $62.7 billion. Top crop producers last year were Illinois with crops valued at $16 billion, Iowa at $15.9 billion, and Nebraska at nearly $12 billion.
A farm auction held over the weekend in Shelby County over 700 spectators. The land auction of Edwin “Bud” Skalla was held at the St. Mary’s Parish Center in Portsmouth on Saturday morning. The 858 acres of farmland, which was separated into 5 tracts, was purchased for a total of $7.8 million. The tracts were separated between Shelby and Harrison County. Other personal items were also auctioned for a total of $17,000. The money from the auctions will be donated to 13 southwest Iowa catholic churches.
The 92 year old Skalla had bequeathed the land to the churches along with another tract of 292 that was given to St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Portsmouth. The portion of land given to Portsmouth was not part of the auction on Saturday. Those churches benefiting in Shelby County are St. Michael’s in Harlan, St. Peter’s in Defiance, St. Joseph’s in Earling, and St. Boniface in Westphalia, St. Mary’s in Portsmouth and St. Mary’s in Panama.
In Harrison County, St. Patrick’s Church in Missouri Valley, St. Anne’s Church in Logan, St. Patrick’s in Dunlap and Sacred Heart in Woodbine. In addition, St. Patrick’s in Neola, St. Rose of Lima in Denison and St. Patrick’s in Council Bluffs are also beneficiaries.
The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Dept. Board of Directors will meet Monday evening at the Senior Citizen Center on Walnut Street, next to the City Hall/Police Dept. Building. The Board is slated to: discuss the Senior Activities Area and receive a rough draft of the layout; Receive a letter from Cass County Community Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Karla Akers, with regard to the City Council’s decision on Jan. 22nd vote down the 1st reading of an ordinance for a Tobacco Free policy for Sunnyside Park; and discuss recommendation for the 2014 Summer Recreation Program, after hearing a report about last year’s programs. They’ll also discuss the Nishna Valley YMCA management fee.
In other business, the Atlantic Parks and Rec Board will discuss a Sunnyside Park Tree Replacement Plan, which has drawn interest from the public as far as helping replanting efforts with memorials and other gifts and labor, and, they’ll discuss Spring and Summer Capital Improvement Projects, including renovation and refurbishing of the Camblin and Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park, the Senior Activity Area, and more.
The meeting at the Atlantic Senior Citizen Center begins at 5:15-p.m., Monday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Time is running out for people who handle certain manure in Iowa to get certified without paying a fee.
The state Department of Natural Resources says manure applicators could face a $12.50 fee if they don’t get the necessary certification by March 1.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach works with DNR to offer free training sessions. There’s about 15 left for confinement site manure applicators. Applicators who handle mostly dry manure have four remaining sessions.
State law says people handling, transporting or applying manure from certain confinements must be certified. Applicators will need to watch a training video or take an exam if they can’t attend a session. Additional fees may apply.